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New England to Quebec City via......? Advice for Aussies please?

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Hello fellow travellers.
DH and I will be attending a conference in Quebec City July 10-13, 2011.
In Oct 2004 we visited New England and loved this area, especially Bar Harbor (where we only stayed two nights)
In 2008 we visited BC and Alberta which was also very beautiful.

We will have around 4 weeks and I am looking for suggestions as to an itinerary that includes at least Mt. Desert Island (for longer) and obviously Quebec City.
I have been reading suggested itineraries (but many are for shorter periods of time) and wondering just how much to fit in? We don't want to be on the move every day.

Places that have piqued my interest from reading here include Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland, Montreal and of course Nigara Falls but I understand that all of that is probably a little too ambitious!
Coming from a very dry part of the world we love coastal and lake scenery and we are both into photography and walking (not climbing necessarily!)

We could fit conference in to beginning or end of trip or even in the middle depending on the route we take.

We hope to be using some Qantas FF points whcih probably means making it to NYC on points but could go on from there to wherever appropriate I guess ... We like driving but I have just realised there may be a problem picking up in the States and dropping off in Canada maybe?

We also love self catering accommodation and previously have booked in to three different weekly rentals whilst away for a month. I could see us in a waterfront cottage on Mt Desert Island very happily!

I hope I have given enough info for some helpful comments - just need a bit of direction to start with please.

Thanks in advance!

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